I’ve finally come to accept quinoa as a healthier substitute for rice (high in protein and fibre compared to white rice). To make a simple pot of quinoa, like rice, you boil water (2 cups water for one cup of dry quinoa), add the quinoa and let it cook covered on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Also like rice, you can mix quinoa with anything you would normally eat with rice. I figured, let’s pretend this quinoa is rice so for tonight’s veggie dinner I made…Mushrooms and Quinoa Risotto Style!
I read the article on Wikipedia for risotto and followed the instructions to use butter, olive oil, garlic, and thinly sliced shallots to sautee the quinoa. But first I quickly sauteed the vegetables I chose to use:
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small orange (or red) bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole – did I mention yet how much I love to bite into these? Careful though, I nearly burned my mouth with delicious hot tomato juice
I used a 454 gram/16oz package of mixed mushrooms – the package I found had enoki, crimini, oyster, portabellini and button mushrooms…of course half were button mushrooms. Coarsely chopped.
On medium heat in a large skillet heat oil and add celery and bell pepper until a bit soft (I like the celery to have a bit of crunch to it). I added fresh ground pepper, oregano and fennel seeds at this point. Add the mushrooms and cook until their liquids have released and are starting to evaporate. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
For the liquids I used about a quarter cup of dry sherry and three cups of broth, your choice of flavour but I used beef…I was craving meat! In a saucepan heat the broth and keep on medium heat so the liquid stays very hot.
Now begins the risotto part. In a large skillet or a large pot, heat olive oil and cold butter. Toss in chopped garlic and shallots and cook for about 30 secs on medium heat. Add the quinoa and stir to make sure the grains are well coated. Look out for quinoa shrapnel!
Pour sherry into skillet and stir gently. When it has evaporated start adding the hot broth half a cup at a time and stirring constantly. Continue to add the broth in half cup measurements until it’s all incorporated into the risotto.
Just when the last bit of broth has been stirred in, add the vegetables and cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or so for flavours to mix. Remove from heat and stir in some cold butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately and devour. I won’t post any pictures because I fear if I do you may not want to make this and it is SOOOO worth it!